The Thoughts and Practices of Legal Reform in the Transitional Process
The modern transition of Chinese law does not start from the legal reform in the late Qing Dynasty as people have commonly assumed, nor is it the result of the endeavor of some of the ministers like Shen Jiaben who are in charge of the legal revision. In fact, it has been made possible for this great historical process to be fully accomplished only by the long time exploration and striving of several generations of social elites like Lin Zexu, Wei Yuan, Li Hongzhang, Kang Youwei and Sun Yat-sen. It is only after repeated argumentation and laborious struggles that the direction and the road of the transition have been chosen and some of the people with lofty ideals even have sacrificed their lives for it. In the process of the modern transition of Chinese law, “Yang Wu Pai” (The Westernization Group), “Wei Xin Pai” (the later Reformists) and the bourgeois democrats all have made their contributions.